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Chunyu Kun: Motifs, Narratives, and Personas in Early Chinese Anecdotal Literature


The present article undertakes a comprehensive study of ancient Chinese anecdotal and dialogic sources on Chunyu Kun, who is presented in a variety of roles such as trickster, sophist, envoy, jester, procurer of talent for his ruler, and erudite at the so-called Jixia academy which was allegedly established in the pre-imperial state of Qi. The article outlines how certain motifs and topics were reused and, in the process, reshaped by the narrative tradition and Chunyu Kun came to serve as a stock figure in different types of discourse.

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Oliver Weingarten , “Debates around Jixia: Argument and Intertextuality in Warring States Writings Associated with Qi”, Journal of the American Oriental Society 135.2 (2015), pp. 283308

Paul R. Goldin , “Appeals to History in Early Chinese Philosophy and Rhetoric”, Journal of Chinese Philosophy 35.1 (2008), p. 80

Weingarten, “The Figure of Yan Zhuoju 顏涿聚 in Ancient Chinese Literature”, Monumenta Serica 63.2 (2015), pp. 229261

Michael Hunter , “Did Mencius Know the Analects?”, T'oung Pao 100.1–3 (2014), p. 68

Hellmut Wilhelm , “Schriften und Fragmente zur Entwicklung der staatsrechtlichen Theorie der Chou-Zeit”, Monumenta Serica 12 (1947), p. 50

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Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society
  • ISSN: 1356-1863
  • EISSN: 1474-0591
  • URL: /core/journals/journal-of-the-royal-asiatic-society
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